A little over a week ago, I was feeling pretty challenged by life. I felt so tired, so overwhelmed, so behind, so busy; and I didn't feel like any of that was liable to change anytime soon. I wished I could be a bear and go off to hibernate until spring came!
And then God intervened and gave me the break I desired.
I'm not going to say that my need for rest was entirely responsible for the bad weather that got dumped on the Valley this past week. ;-) But I couldn't help but notice that while some were lamenting the very frigid temperatures and the snow and ice that fell, I was rejoicing at the semi-hibernation I was able to enjoy. In the past eight days, I didn't have only one day in which I didn't have to go anywhere (like I would have if the weather had been normal); I had six. For an introvert like me, that fact alone is huge.
Sure, the weather made some things more uncomfortable. Yes, it was hard to keep the house warm, despite the continual filling of the woodstove that we did. Of course, single digit temperatures chilled me instantly when I had to leave the shelter of our home to take Willow out or do other outdoor errands. But looking on the bright side, here are some of the advantages I enjoyed this past week of extreme weather.
~ Staying home more meant I got to clean and thoroughly organize three rooms of the house. It may not sound like much to you, but it was refreshing for me. Organization energizes me!
~ I have a sweater that is so warm that I rarely get to wear it. On a normal winter day, I overheat in it; but this week was a perfect opportunity to pull it out and wear it. And as a bonus, it's long enough to fit over my expanding baby belly! ;-)
~ Cold weather means that we haven't seen ants in the kitchen in months, nor do we need to swat flies or shoo mosquitoes away.
~ Having extra time inside at home gives us a chance to play games; and boy, have we ever had a game-filled week! Josiah, David, Tobin, and I stayed up fairly late several nights playing Dutch Blitz--and laughing our heads off. And the boys got Jeff hooked on Settlers of Catan, one of the gifts we gave Josiah for Christmas. The sweet memories of these fun times of playing games together will linger long after the weather warms.
~ With our woodstove, we didn't have to worry too much about the electricity going out. Not that it did go out in our area, but with this much bad weather, it certainly could have. Having a non-electric source of heat is a very comforting thing in single-digit temps.
~ We had a great school week and got more accomplished in it than we do in a normal week. My homeschool planner pages for this week are filled in more than usual, and that's a good feeling.
~ Jeff, having grown up in the snowy mountains of California, knows how to drive in snow, so he went to work every day he normally does. But sometimes, he got to come home a little early; and we LOVED having him around more. :) He made chocolate chip cookies one day, and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, and shoveled snow, and built a snowman, and had a snow fight with the boys, and generally brightened our days. :)
~ One of the very most wonderful things about this week has been the beauty! Cold temperatures with bare, brown landscapes are hard to deal with. Cold temperatures with gorgeous, white landscapes are different thing entirely! ;-) I have loved watching the snow falling, sometimes with big flakes and sometimes with small. I have loved the blue light outdoors in the evenings, as the fading light reflects on the whiteness. I have especially loved having a pretty view, no matter which window I look out. I haven't spent much time out in the snow, but I have soaked in the loveliness of it as I've gazed outside.
~ The kids have been sick this week with some kind of bug that has seemed more like a cold for Josiah and David but has given Tobin and Moriah fairly high fevers. It has been a perfect week for them to rest and recover. If we had to pick any week of 2015 so far for them to endure sickness, this past week was certainly the best one we could have chosen.
I'm hopeful that all the kids are on the upward way with their health, but I'm sad to say that I've caught their germs. I was trying to deny how I was feeling, but by late this afternoon, I couldn't even convince myself--much less anyone else--that I was still healthy. Now that a new week is beginning, I'm trying to bring the extra measure of peace granted me this past week into the next seven days--whether or not I'm knocked low for a few of them by this illness. This new week may not end up being as productive as I would like it to be, but I'm determined to keep looking on the bright side, no matter what comes my way.
Before I say goodbye to this past week, however, here are some scenes from our days at home...
Moriah got interested in stickers and was coordinated enough to peel these stickers off their backing and put them on a piece of notebook paper. She did this quite often, and it came in especially handy when I was doing other schoolwork with the boys.
Such sweet gifts in a week of rest that was itself a gift from my Heavenly Father!